Let’s Gro Together Groningen

29 January 2020 - Published by Evite van Winkoop
Four days, 134 activities and 18,000 visitors. The festival Let's Gro in Groningen continued to captivate a broad and committed audience from the 30th of October to the 2nd of November 2019. For the seventh time a stage was given to all the people who want to make the city and region of Groningen more beautiful, innovative and more liveable. Over 40 speakers from the Netherlands and abroad shared their ideas for this year's theme: 'Together'.

We like the Future!
This year, the Like! project was part of the Let’s Gro festival to share its innovative solutions to improve the public service delivery. Together with the Interreg vb BLING project (exploring the possibilities of blockchain for improving public service delivery) the two projects presented their pilots during the 31st of October in DOT, a unique location in Groningen city. Around 150 citizens, civil servants, entrepreneurs and other interested visitors joined this session on the digital future.

In the morning session you could learn all about the statistical data of the municipality of Groningen presented in the Groningen Compass. Citizens were very interested in how the municipality can visualises their data and how neighbourhood policies are influenced by this data. The BLING project organized sessions on blockchain for dummies and a session on the real added value of blockchain for (local) governments. Last, the municipality showed how the digital democracy pilot CONSUL can facilitate citizen participation in the Groninger neighbourhoods


In the afternoon we visited innovative sites in the city where entrepreneurs and researchers experimented with the latest service delivery. What role will digital health care play? How will the 5G network change our lives and what will artificial intelligence systems and Data Science bring us? These questions were answered by specialists on these subjects. Herman Pleij ‘Dutch professor known for his frequent television appearances’ explained how big data influences the individual human being and his environment and answered questions on this topic. He addressed questions such as:

  • What are the dilemmas and challenges?
  • What can we learn from the past?
  • How can we learn from this together?

undefinedCircularity hub
 No more waste, is that possible? In 2025 the municipality of Groningen wants to be a circular municipality when it comes to household waste. Setting up a Circularity Hub where all stakeholders are located together can make an important contribution to this as a form of multi-stakeholder engagement. Designers, second-hand stores, artists, entrepreneurs, citizens and municipality come together at these hubs to stimulate a circular economy by re-using waste. During the Let’s Gro festival citizens were asked to give their opinion on the Circularity Hub to collect input on this new approach. In order to get as many citizens involved as possible, the Circularity Hub together with the Like! project started a targeted content campaign by promoting this event in supermarkets, second-hand stores and on the waste bins. We collected over 120 inputs from the citizens and 15 citizens joined our think-thank to further develop the Circularity Hub.